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3.29.2017

Unexpected Love ~ Review

Unexpected Love
A Marriage of Convenience Anthology
By Heather Chapman
        Paula Kremser
          Mandi Ellsworth
            Ashtyn Newbold

A delightful assortment of four short stories that take the reader back in time where love isn't a guarantee before or after the "I do" is said.

First up is Ashbrook Abbey by Heather Chapman. Loftus Notley has determined how to name his heir - his two nephews James and Ambrose must prove responsible and worthy of Ashbrook Abbey. But the how is entirely up to them.

Ambrose feels that marriage to his uncle's beloved ward may be the advantage he needs. But Kate Mowbray, though not without means, desires a simple life. Can one who has enjoyed a life of ease be content with the life that Kate knows and loves? And if Ambrose's plan to win his uncle's good opinion and Ashbrook Abbey fails could he find love in a marriage with Kate and could he ever embrace her life?  Only time will tell...

Second is First Comes Marriage by Paula Kremser. Letty Cipriani's sister and brother-in-law have died, leaving behind two young children - Mae and George.  Unfortunately, Eva and John Forrester never had a will drawn up naming a guardian. And with John's uncle Hugh Morton demanding immediate custody of the children, Letty is worried. The arrival of John's brother Daniel adds an interesting and unexpected twist when he devises a plan to thwart his uncle's scheming - marriage. Can a marriage conceived solely to gain custody of their niece and nephew ever hope to become something more? Or will Daniel and Letty find themselves forever bound to someone they could never love? Or will first impressions give way to a happily ever after neither ever expected...

The third offering is The Price of Her Heart by Mandi Ellsworth. Faye McKinney is one of those McKinneys who is blessed with the curse of good intentions and bad timing. Unfortunately for Faye, her bad timing brought her to the attention of some people who now want her silenced for what she's seen. Worse they are willing to track her across the country - placing everyone she knows in danger. In an attempt to thwart the danger, a marriage to Deputy Sheriff Geoffrey Fattore is arranged.  Can marriage to a small town lawman keep her safe? Or will Faye just lead one more person into danger?

The final story is Beauty and the Beholder by Ashtyn Newbold. Fanny Clarke only wanted to be married to the man she loved but life had a different path - one that cost her everything. Percy Wellington's future was dark and without hope. When an arrangement was made to unite the two in marriage both were less than pleased. But Percy needed someone to help him in his new unfortunate position and Fanny was in need of a home and protection. But their personalities clash in such a way that a future of love, happiness or even friendship seems impossible. Misunderstandings seem inevitable between strangers but can they work past it and their past pain?

Sit back in your favorite chair with a cup of tea or coffee and prepare to read through the afternoon. These stories will brighten your day with their satisfying conclusions. If you've read any of these authors in the past you won't be disappointed. If these authors are new to you you'll want to pick up their previous works. Fans of clean historical romance fiction be sure to get a copy as soon as possible and be prepared to share when your friends hear you exclaiming over the fantabulous reading you experienced in Unexpected Love.

I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher with no expectation of a positive review - all expressed opinions are my own.



About the authors:
Heather Chapman: Being the youngest of four sisters (and one very tolerant older brother), Heather grew up on a steady diet of chocolate, Jane Austen, Anne of Green Gables, Audrey Hepburn, and the other staples of female literature and moviedom. These stories inspired Heather, and she began writing at a young age. After meeting and marrying her husband Mark, Heather graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University and settled down in a small farming community with her husband and four children. In her spare time, Heather enjoys volleyball, piano, the outdoors, and just about anything creative.

Mandi Ellsworth: Mandi is an avid reader, a slow jogger, and disinterested in board games of any kind. She lives in Utah with her husband, three children, and no pets.

Paula Kremser: Paula Kremser focused on a career in science for a few years after graduating from Brigham Young University. Several years later when she moved with her young family to England, Paula seized the opportunity to focus on her love of the Regency Era. The enchantment of the aristocracy and the fascinating stories from every stately home she visits have been both research and inspiration for her first novel, “Sophia,” and second, “To Suit a Suitor.”

Ashtyn Newbold
: Ashtyn Newbold discovered a love of writing early in high school. Inspired by regency period romance, she wrote her first novel at the age of sixteen. Because she can’t vacation in her favorite historical time periods, she writes about them instead. When not crafting handsome historical heroes, she enjoys baking, sewing, music, and spoiling her dog. She dreams of traveling to England and Ireland. Ashtyn is currently studying English and creative writing at Utah Valley University. She lives in Lehi, Utah with her family and is the author of “Mischief and Manors.”

3.27.2017

A Stolen Heart ~ Review

A Stolen Heart
Cimarron Creek Trilogy #1
By Amanda Cabot

Lydia Crawford is heading to Cimarron Creek, Texas, and heading to a new life with her fiancé. But something has gone terrible wrong - Edgar Ellis has disappeared and left behind a wife who is in the family way. Having cut all ties to her former life Lydia is a Northern in a sea of Texans for whom the resentments of the war that divided a nation have not yet been forgotten.

Fortunately for Lydia, she was met by the newly appointed sheriff, Travis Whitfield, who directed Lydia to the perfect place to regroup. With her plans for her life completely undone, Lydia needs to decide what her next move will be. But asking Edgar why is pretty high up on her list.

For Travis determining why Edgar abandoned his wife is of utmost importance ~ was it voluntary because of the imminent arrival of Miss Crawford? Fear of his responsibilities?  Or was something more sinister involved? And is Miss Crawford indeed who she claims? And what was her purpose in settling so far removed from her old life?

As Lydia settles into her new life she finds a unique need that her skills can fill and she becomes an accepted member of the community. But when a series of crimes begin occurring in Cimarron Creek suspicion natural turns to Lydia. Could she truly be guilty of these crimes? And how could she have fooled some many people? Perhaps Cimarron Creek chose the wrong man to be sheriff and needed someone who could look deeper and could protect them from Northern opportunists.

This is the first book in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy and there is a definite mystery that runs through this book though the book itself is identified as a historical romance.  Set in 1880, Texas is still recovering from the wounds it received during the Civil War so it is interesting to see how the people all react to Lydia and her Northern ties.  The family ties that bind this town have a powerful influence throughout this story. And if you've read and enjoyed Amanda Cabot in the past you don't miss this delightful read!

I was provided a review copy of this book by Revell with no expectation of a positive review - all expressed opinions are my own.


About the Book:
The future she dreamed of is gone. 
But perhaps a better one awaits . . . 

From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners--like her. Lydia won't let that get her down, though. All will be well when she's reunited with her fiancé. 

But when she discovers he has disappeared--and that he left behind a pregnant wife--Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?
Bestselling author Amanda Cabot invites you into Texas's storied past to experience adventure, mystery--and love. 

How to Become a Pirate Hunter ~ Review

How to Become a Pirate Hunter
By Marty Reeder

Eric Francis just isn't good at anything and he has no idea what he wants to do with his life. And as a sophomore, he should have some inkling, at least his high school counselor seems to think he should. But when he meets Charlotte Reeves the newest student in his high school he's about discover who he was meant to be. There's just one problem he's in the wrong time and the wrong place.

According to Charlotte, Eric was born to be a pirate hunter and she's about to give him the chance of a lifetime to prove it. All it takes is a little trip back through time, which could be problematic as time travel has yet to be discovered. Luckily for Eric, he knows Charlotte - let the pirate hunting commence!

Eric's natural skills on the water seemingly prove Charlotte's assertions about him true. But can Eric's natural abilities as a pirate hunter be enough to stop the dreaded Willard Pirate Twins who are terrorizing the shipping lanes into and out of Port Raleigh?  And how can a teenage boy who doesn't even have a driver's license out think and outmaneuver pirates who have years of experience pillaging and plundering?

If your looking for some adventure that will thrill your tween and teen readers look no further. This is an exciting read that adds a touch of fantasy to give the story an added touch of something special. This would also make for a fun family read-together book and at 199 pages not too long. Sit back and let the adventure begin with the first page.

I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher with no expectation of a positive review ~ all expressed opinions are my own.


About the Book:
Eric has always felt useless. That is, until he meets Charlotte, the new girl who he is asked to show around school. Charlotte tells him she has the power to see other people’s natural born abilities—what they are born to do. Charlotte shows Eric that not only is he not useless, but he has a natural born talent with the potential to make him a hero. When the two teenagers leave their monotonous high school lives for a thrilling adventure on the high seas, Eric will put his natural abilities to the ultimate test to help his friends, and he’ll learn a lot about himself in the process.


3.24.2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison ~ Review

The Elusive Miss Ellison
Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace #1
By Carolyn Miller

If you are looking for a delightful way to pass the day as you enjoy a spot of tea you've found it in The Elusive Miss Ellison.

Lavinia Ellison has no use for the nobility of England who live off the toil and suffering of those who are under their "care". And unfortunately for Nicholas Stamford, the newest Earl of Hawkesbury, he already has a strike against him in the opinion of Livvie, one from which he may never raise in her estimation.

Lavinia, as the local minister's daughter, offers a helping hand to those within the village of St. Hampton Heath and she's determined to see that Lord Hawkesbury do his duty by the villagers and his tenants. But a quiet country life caring for the needs of others isn't what Nicholas seeks. He's searching for a way to heal from the horrors of war and from the guilt he's been carrying for far too long. Lavinia's wit and intelligence might prove to be a distraction to that will make a permanent change in his life, but the daughter of a country reverend could never tempt his heart, or could she?

But when Lavinia and Nicholas have a chance to get to know one another they come to realize that first impressions are not necessarily a true likeness of who a person truly is. But a long-held family secret is lurking in the past, one that could change everything. And it could end any thought of friendship or something more before it ever begins.

This book is a delightful blend of a unique story with a subtle nod to the talent of Jane Austen.  Fans of Regency and historical fiction can enjoy this newest offering that promises a meeting of personages that will rival that of Elizabeth Bennett and Mister Darcy.  Even better this is but the first book in a new series.

I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher with no expectation of a positive review ~ all expressed opinions are my own.


About the Book:
"Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions." That's the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister's daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won't take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia's pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother--who stole the most important person in Livvie's world.

Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he's just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there's already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect. That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn't the only heart that needs to change.

These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love. 

3.22.2017

Who is the heroine of your life? ~ The Zookeeper's Wife Trailer and Giveaway

Who is the heroine of your life?

Everyday life goes on around us and we don't always notice the little things that those around us are doing. Often these little things are the things that make our life easier, these are the things that can change our world. Often the heroine of our life does so quietly, sending out tiny ripples that have a far greater effect upon us than we would ever realize looking forward. But when we look behind us we see a fuller picture.

A gentle nudge here or there to encourage us to overcome a seemingly insurmountable obstacle - an obstacle that is but a small rise to any even greater hill and then into the mountains. It can be a hand to help us regain our footing when we've slipped. A steadying influence as we peddle for the first time. The helpful hints to remember how to spell a word or master a mathematical challenge or preventing a scientific disaster when a report is due the next day.

My heroine has done all this and more. She's been there when I've needed someone to talk to or a rare shoulder to cry on. She's championed those in need by giving what she can and could and has encouraged me to do the same. A heroine doesn't need to go out looking for dragons to slay - she sees the needs around her and just does what is necessary to accomplish her goal. She makes her small corner of the world better by doing what she can and the ripples that she sends out have an untold effect on those who are touched by them.

My heroine is a quiet champion who does what she can whenever she can. Who is the heroine of your life?

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THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE - Synopsis
In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh, a European Film Award nominee for the Academy Award-nominated The Broken Circle Breakdown), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care.

When their country is invaded by the Germans, Jan and Antonina are stunned and forced to report to the Reich's newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Golden Globe Award nominee Daniel Brühl of Captain America: Civil War).

To fight back on their own terms, the Żabińskis covertly begin working with the Resistance and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Scenes from the movie
Enter the Giveaway for a chance to
 Take Your Heroine to see The Zookeeper’s Wife
with a $25 Fandango Giftcard.
Open to US residents.
Ends on March 29, 2017 @ midnight.
Winner will be contacted by email
with 48 hours to reply or 
an alternate will be chosen.









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3.21.2017

Without Warning ~ Review

Without Warning
A J.B. Collins Novel #3
By Joel C. Rosenberg

This time it is personal and it has come home - America is under attack, the first target, the nation's capital. One would think President Harrison Taylor would take the threats of Abu Khalif more seriously after being held hostage. But the President keeps brushing off concerns expressed by those with keeping him in the know.  And J.B. Collins is determined to let the nation know that contrary to the President's political grandstanding Abu Khalif is not on the run and is in fact about to fulfill his promise to bring down America and the infidel nations.

When successive attacks begin occurring across the nation, one strike is about to change J.B.'s life forever. Can a journalist use his investigative skills and his knowledge of Abu Khalif to help bring down the world's most deadly terrorist?

This book packs in a lot of action as J.B. comes to terms with his life as it now stands - his choices and his regrets. With lives on the line, he makes a decision that will take him back to the Middle East, where he will take part in the ultimate story - his own.

If you like non-stop suspense with a political twist you need to read this book - this series. Get ready for some unexpected twists before you experience a not to be forgotten ending. If you haven't read the previous two books in the series I would highly recommend reading them first as the series builds upon itself. Fans of Joel Rosenberg's work will appreciate his latest fiction offering.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book with no expectation of a positive review ~ all expressed opinions are my own.

About the Book:
As he prepares to deliver the State of the Union address, the president of the United States is convinced the Islamic State is on the run, about to be crushed by American forces once and for all. But New York Times foreign correspondent J. B. Collins tells the president he’s dead wrong.

With the Middle East on fire, the Israeli prime minister dead, and Amman in ruins, Collins fears a catastrophic attack inside the American homeland is imminent. He argues that only an all-out manhunt to capture or kill Abu Kahlif—the leader of ISIS—can stop the attack and save American lives. But will the president listen and take decisive action before it’s too late?

3.20.2017

India ~ Review with Giveaway and Trailer

India
By Debra Schoenberger

India the very name brings images to mind and this book will bring to the reader images that don't have to be imagined. All too often one thinks of the exotic, a land of spices, a land of adventure. But the truth of this land is presented here thanks to the photographic talents of Debra Schoenberger.

"India is, quite simply unforgettable, a land of contrasts," this statement taken from one of the very few textual portions of this book sums up this book perfectly.  India has vast grandeurs of architectural wonders and the close crowded streets that can be found in any area with a large population within the confines of a city.

A book with more than one hundred pictures definitely tells a story that couldn't be portrayed with only words. Prepare for a visual journey that is rich in the depth that its very subject matter is presented. See the everyday life of India and study at leisure this world that one might never have the chance to explore in person.

I like the glimpses that the author shares. Other books that, I have, in the past, examined show only the tourist attractions around this land. I appreciate the effort the author went to in sharing the India she has grown to love. The pictorial nature of this book makes it perfect for any age reader regardless of reading skills. Take a day to explore this land and share the experience with those whom you'd like to take the journey with.

I was provided a digital review copy of this book by the author with no expectations of a positive review ~ all expressed opinions are my own.




Book Description:
I have always been fascinated by the sheer beauty and diversity in Indian culture. "Sensory overload in a glance" is an apt description of a country that is always in movement. To be able to stand still in the middle of all that movement allows me to really "see" her people and absorb the flow of life from birth to death.


From learning how to make yellow ink from cow urine to watching funeral pyres burn in Varanasi, I realized that I would have to spend a lifetime here to grasp the immense value of her art, stunning architecture, fascinating food, and love of all that is beautiful.

Buy the book:   Amazon   Blurb   iTunes   Website

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Author's Bio:
Debra Schoenberger aka #girlwithcamera


"My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me.


I am a documentary photographer and street photography is my passion. Some of my images have been chosen by National Geographic as editor's favourites and are on display in the National Geographic museum in Washington, DC.  I also have an off-kilter sense of humour so I'm always looking for the unusual.


​Connect with the author:    Website ~  Facebook ​~ Instagram ~  Pinterest


Book Trailer:


Giveaway:​


Prizes:
Win one $25 Amazon gift card (international)
5 winners will receive one copy of INDIA (choice ePUB or PDF)
(ends April 1, 2017)

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